Clean, Healthy Air is Really Important! How We CARE for our AIR, and other things…
Our Multiple Layers of Aerosol Protection
- All patients and staff wear masks at all times, except during active treatment. Dentists and dental hygienists wear N95 masks and faceshields. We start all patients with temperature checks, handwashing, COVID symptoms questions. Our very careful patients and staff are our greatest asset! This is our First Layer of Protection.
- Preprocedural Rinses: All patients do two 30 second swishing with an antivirus oral solution. The first swishing removes proteins and mucous from saliva, the second swishing kills viruses and bacteria, up to 99.9%. (Journal of Medical Virology, 09/17/20). The dentists and staff also do antivirus rinses throughout the day. So, when we start our dental treatment, we are starting in a clean oral environment. This is our Second Layer of Protection.
- We use High Speed Evacuation during dental treatment. These are powered by two strong vacuum pumps. This removes 100 cubic feet of air per minute of air and water, right next to the tooth, before it can exit into the room air. HVE equipment has been added to all of our dental hygiene treatment rooms. This is our Third Layer of protection.
- We have 10 HEPA Filter Air Purifiers, located in all Treatment Rooms, Waiting Room, and Business Area.The HEPA Filter in Coway Mighty air purifiers remove particles down to 0.3 microns (virus size) 99.97% of time. It is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq. ft. Our treatment rooms are much smaller, so our air is filtered frequently. The New York Times consumer reports department, thewirecutter.com, rates Coway Mighty as their Editors Choice! This is our Fourth Layer of Protection.
- Fresh San Francisco Air
Luckily, our building has Windows that Open. We have a corner office with Good Cross Ventilation. Our office faces West, we have strong breezes into the office, with no tall buildings outside to block the breeze. This is our Fifth Layer of Protection.
- Air Conditioner Draws Outside Air
Where is the window? There once was a window by the front desk. Now it is a wall with a picture, hiding the intake duct pulling fresh outside San Francisco air in and blowing it down from the ceiling in each room individually. Then it exits out a duct at the back of the office, to the outside. This is OUR air conditioner, not shared with the building. If any aerosols escape the first three levels, our air conditioner also filters our air. This is our Sixth Layer of Protection.
- How We Care For Our Surfaces and Instruments
This is nothing new… Infection Control procedures rapidly progressed in the’80s during the HIV/AIDS crisis. Instruments are sterilized in our autoclaves; disposable items are discarded after each patient. We wipe down surfaces; use plastic wrap barriers, etc. We, and all dentists, have been doing infection control and sterilization procedures for 40 years. We are required to take classes on Infection Control every two years to keep our California Dental License. Dentists are good at this! This is our Seventh Layer of Protection.